After the recent events surrounding the LNG lease with Oregon LNG and the current commission’s inability to grasp the fact they have a valid lease, I am more than convinced they have NOT taken the time to carefully think through the ramifications of their idea to export logs.
There is consensus in the community that the strategic plan that was set in place nearly a decade ago is sufficient for the port to follow as a blueprint for the future. Minor tweaks here and there will need to be made but the macro idea of the plan is a sound one. Judging on the way the current commission is handling (or better yet, bungling) their ideas to move the port forward, is further evidence this commission is being led by a force of egos that don’t want to admit a good plan is in place. Further compounding of their bungling is consistent bad advice from the legal firm they hired to try to get out of the Oregon LNG lease.
This was slated to be my last article on exporting logs at the Port of Astoria but there is just too much to be said so there will be more articles.
There are many unanswered questions that have yet to be explained to the public. Looking back at some of the past articles, my biggest concern is how do current tenants coexist with an industrial operation that will bring a traffic impact both to the port property and highway 30/Marine Drive. Exporting logs is not a clean operation. When the port was in the log business, we received numerous complaints from the adjacent boat mooring basin as well as the adjacent Red Lion hotel. Both of these are still in adjacent areas so the specter of noise and log grime is on the table again.
After considerable time was spent evaluating the types of business the Port could be successful at, we decided to move forward with a new strategic business plan which was followed up with a master plan that was conducted by planning consultants Mitchell / Nelson (who has since merged with Maul Foster Alongi).
As a group of highly charged and of diverse backgrounds, we – Dan Hess, Jim Bergeron, Don McDaniel, Bob Eaton, and myself – set in motion the tools and policy our new director (Peter Gearin) and deputy director (Bill Cook) needed to develop the port properties.
In about 1999 or so, we hired Peter Gearin as the new Port Director.
At about this same time, two new faces would appear in the commission line up – Jim Bergeron who defeated Bob Filori and Don McDaniel who replaced June Spence who decided not to run again.
There were several commissioner changes leading up to this point. When Peter Gearin took the helm, the new commission lineup was Dan Hess, Jim Bergeron, Don McDaniel, Bob Eaton, and Myself.
For those of you who don’t follow local Clatsop County Port of Astoria politics, our not so ready for prime time port commission is embarking on entertaining a company to export logs from Port property.
Over the next few days, walk with me as I take us for a trip down memory lane. The conclusion of this series will provide you with a detailed discourse on why the Port should tread lightly and fully explore their new found idea of exporting logs.